08/08/2013 1:26PM

Del Mar: Rosengold will be winging in La Jolla


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DEL MAR, Calif. – The idea of Rosengold barreling along on the lead of a turf stakes for 3-year-olds is not as daunting today as it was earlier this year.

Rosengold won three turf stakes earlier this year, leading or stalking the pace, but was fourth in the second division of the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar on July 17. In Saturday’s $150,000 La Jolla Handicap, Rosengold is expected to set the pace. Whether he can carry his speed over the 1 1/16-mile distance on turf remains to be seen.

The Grade 2 La Jolla will be Rosengold’s farthest race, an assignment jockey Martin Garcia thinks the colt can handle.

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“He’s been relaxing a little better and finishing,” Garcia said. “You can’t take him back. He’s not going to finish. He does what he wants to do. I don’t think anyone will come with me. If they do, we won’t finish anywhere.”

Owned by Bill Currin and trained by Julio Canani, Rosengold has won 4 of 6 starts and earned $173,350.

The pack that will be chasing Rosengold is formidable. The La Jolla drew a field of nine, including stakes winners Den’s Legacy, Dice Flavor, and Dry Summer; stakes-placed runners Freakin Rocket, Greeley Awesome, Pure Loyalty, and Si Sage; and Uno Dos Adios, the sharp winner of an allowance race at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 27.

There will not be a heavy favorite in a race where many have a legitimate chance to win.

Freakin Rocket, third in the first division of the Oceanside Stakes, makes his second start on turf and runs in his longest race. Mike Smith has the mount on Freakin Rocket, who will be near the front.

[DEL MAR 2013: Complete meet coverage, schedule, race replays]

“Mike can do what he wants, depending on how the race unfolds,” trainer Tim Yakteen said. “I’d like to see him stalking.”

Dry Summer won the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf Stakes here last summer and the Mine That Bird Derby at Sunland Park in February. He was gelded after finishing eighth in the Grade 3 Sunland Park Derby on March 24. In recent works, Dry Summer has impressed trainer Jeff Mullins and jockey Joe Talamo.

“He feels different,” Talamo said. “He stretches out so much better. He’s got a lot more power behind.”

Two months ago, it would have seemed unlikely that Greeley Awesome would be in the La Jolla. He was claimed from a win on June 9 for $40,000 by Kosta Hronis and trainer John Sadler, and finished a fast-closing second to Gervinho in the first division of the Oceanside Stakes in his first start for them.

“I liked him because he was a 3-year-old racing on grass that wants to win races,” Sadler said of the claim. “You hope they’re worth what you paid. We’re very happy. I think he has a big shot in there.”

Uno Dos Adios will be well backed in his stakes debut. Trained by Bill Spawr, Uno Dos Adios closed from last in a field of six to win an allowance race at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

“You can see every race he just gets better and better,” Spawr said.

With turf rails extended 14 feet out from the permanent position on Saturday, Spawr said he is concerned that the narrow course could affect the closers.

“He’s going to be closing,” Spawr said. “I wish the rails were in because of the traffic.”